Draymond Green is the (way too early) Defensive Player of the Year
Draymond Green has been incredible on the defensive end of the floor thus far this season. If he can keep it up, he will be the DPOY.
We are months away from NBA award season. The MVP race has about eight guys that deserve to be in the conversation. It’s far too early to come to conclusions about who deserves what…for most awards.
The Defensive Player of the Year award has a clear frontrunner. Draymond Green has been absolutely incredible on that end of the floor. He deserves to win the award for the first time in his career.
Kevin Durant’s Warriors are known as an offensive juggernaut and rightfully so. They boast three of the greatest shooters ever and have playmakers all over the floor. They currently have the highest offensive rating ever (117.1), better than the 1986-87 Los Angeles Lakers’ mark of 115.6.
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When the Warriors signed Durant, they had to let Andrew Bogut and Festus Ezeli go. Many expected (or, better yet, hoped) that the defense would fall apart. Green has taken it upon himself to make sure that doesn’t happen.
The Milwaukee Bucks tried to target him with the game on the line. They attempted to get the ball into Giannis Antetokounmpo with his back to the basket. Instead, Green poked the pass away and sealed the deal with a clutch steal.
Just a few days later, he made more game clinching plays against the Atlanta Hawks. After missing a game due to an ankle injury, Green made sure he played and Golden State might not have won without him. He came up with two crucial blocks and a deflection to gain possession.
He blocked Dennis Schröder and knocked the ball off his face. Then, on the following possession, he left his man to cut Kent Bazemore’s clear path to the basket. He blocked the shot and, when Bazemore came down with the offensive rebound, Green knocked it out of bounds. Then he danced on the Hawks’ grave.
Green is averaging 1.8 blocks and 2.1 steals per game (only the Greek Freak is averaging more than 1.5 blocks and 2 steals). He leads the team in defensive rating, sitting at 99 DRtg. He’s saved games on that end of the floor.
The Warriors’ All-Star has finished as the DPOY runner-up two years in a row, behind only Kawhi Leonard. Green is having a better season than the Spurs’ star defensively. He’s on a mission to win the award this year.
Green isn’t just one of the most versatile defenders in the league today; he’s one of the most versatile defenders we’ve ever seen. He can defend quick and shifty guards just as easily powerful centers. He has exceptional timing and IQ on that end of the floor.
If he can continue to play at this high level, the award is his.